The City of Safety Harbor will celebrate its centennial birthday in 2017, and the first event to capitalize on the 100-year milestone was officially approved last week.
A celebrity charity softball tournament, hosted by the Harbor Bar in conjunction with the Safety Harbor Library Foundation, will be held on Saturday, June 10, 2017 at Safety Harbor City Park after the item received unanimous approval from the city commission on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
The free event is designed as a fundraiser for the library’s 20/20 vision expansion project, and Harbor Bar owner John Zemzicki promises it will be a fun way to help Harborites celebrate the centennial in style while raising money for a great cause.
“We wanted to do something special for the centennial, and we’re thankful we’re able to move forward with the event after getting approval from the city last week,”Zemzicki recently told Safety Harbor Connect.
“We’ll have food and drink, games, raffles, contests and merchandise for sale, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the library foundation,” he added. “It’s all about the library, the city and the centennial. It should be fun.”
Zemzicki, who has hosted charity softball games for the bar and participated in a weekly softball league for local hospitality workers for years, said he came up with the idea of a super-sized centennial softball tourney after meeting a promoter in his downtown bar.
“I was approached by a guy at the bar who does celebrity events, a lot of celebrity golf tournaments, and we started talking and I told him I’ve done these types of events before,” he said.
“Next thing I know, an offer was put on the table, and being the competitive guy I am, I accepted!”
Zemzicki got to work hammering out the details with city officials, and soon the framework of the event started to take shape.
“The city was very easy to work with,” he said.
“We looked at it as we need to get as many people as possible to come down to City Park for as long as possible since all of the proceeds would be going to the library.”
Zemzicki said the daylong event will feature a couple of preliminary contests, followed by the main attraction on Saturday night.
“Joe Cooper (SH special events director) came up with the idea of having a game between the chamber of commerce and the city commissioners, and I thought we could do a ‘guns and hoses’ type game between police and firefighters.”
“Then the main event on Saturday night will be a team of Harbor Bar softball league all stars versus a celebrity team featuring local newscasters, TV entertainers and former major league ballplayers.”
And while he can’t confirm any of the attendees until all the details are finalized, Zemzicki said the promoter has the connections to supply some marquee names.
“We have one really big name we’re working on that will be confirmed after the first of the year,” he said.
“I can’t say who it is, but it’s such a big name, I was told we probably wouldn’t be able to handle the security for them. So everyone will have to wait for that announcement!”